Triple trouble on the first day at school

KATASHA MCCULLOUGH AND JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014
Triplets

SAY CHEESE: Reese, Tasmin and Mischa Thomas, George, Jack and Harrison Farmer and Chris, Liam and Josh Wyllie, all triplets, will be heading back to school next month.

Farmer Triplets
TRIPLE THREAT: Harrison, Jack and George Farmer, 5, are students at Windy Ridge School.
Wyllie triplets
THREE'S A CROWD: Liam, Josh and Chris Wyllie, all 7, go to St John’s School in Mairangi Bay.
Thomas triplets
TREBLE TROUBLE: Tasmin, Reese and Mischa Thomas, 5, are about to start year two at Belmont Primary.

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Three times three equals triple the trouble.

Back to school is always a busy time of year, but even more so when there are three school uniforms to buy, three lunchboxes to pack and three sets of homework to tick off.

A checklist on the wall helps get the Thomas triplets out the door in the morning.

Five-year-olds Tasmin, Reese and Mischa are about to start year 2 at Belmont Primary.

Tasmin and Reese name art as their favourite subject, while Mischa prefers "free time at lunch and morning tea".

Mum Nina Thomas went to the school five months before they started to make sure the girls could be in different classes. "I just figured there's enough competition at home," she says.

Being separated means they can build their own

relationship with the teacher and other pupils.

The Wyllie triplets Liam, Josh and Chris are all in the same class at St John's School in Mairangi Bay.

Josh and Chris were born a minute apart and are identical. Liam is fraternal.

Mum Melanie Wyllie was hit with a $500 stationery bill for the triplets and big sister Kate, who is about to start year 5.

The boys play at least two sports each, meaning more money and organisation is needed.

The mums agree having school-aged triplets is even more hectic than when they were babies, because "everything happens in a tiny little window" after school, Mrs Thomas says.

With five kids in total, Mrs Thomas says sometimes you need to think outside the box.

She hires a coach to come in and teach the children sports uch as tennis, because it works out cheaper than sending them all off to play individually.

Meischa Farmer also has triplets made up of two identical boys and one fraternal.

Harrison, Jack and George, 5, go to Windy Ridge School. They are all in the same class, which none of them like, because they all wish they were the elder brother.

"I want to be the oldest and boss these two around," George says.

Getting ready for school in the morning is "boring" for the threesome. "It takes hours," they say simultaneously.

Mrs Thomas says the worst part of having triplets is the fighting, noise and logistics.

"And the food bill," Mrs Wyllie says.

But Mrs Farmer says as much as they grizzle and moan, it is brilliant to have kids who can always play together.

"The really neat thing is you've always got a playdate, you've always got a sleepover. They're never lonely," Mrs Thomas says.

Mrs Wyllie says her boys have a bond that no one else has.

"I love it, I wouldn't have it any other way."

Likewise, Mrs Thomas has embraced being a mother of triplets. "You miss the noise when they're gone," she says.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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